Left Front announces four names for RS poll

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Kolkata, Mar 13 (UNI) The ruling Left Front in West Bengal today announced the names of four nominees for the March 20 Rajya Sabha polls, while dropping a broad hint for fielding an Independent candidate from the minority for the fifth slot.

To ensure an equitable representation of the major partners in the House of elders, the coalition also decided to pull out Dr Barun Mukherjee, the sitting Forward Bloc candidate having two years to finish his term to make room for a CPI candiate.

Of the five seats that will fall vacant, the CPI(M) will field its Central Committee member Shyamal Chakraborty, a new face, while retaining Prasanta Chatterjee and Tarini Roy for the second term.

On the other hand the Forward Bloc will nominate the party's All India General Secretary Debabrata Biswas while giving up its second seat in favour of the CPI, which will shortly announce the name of its candidate.

''It has been decided that both the Forward Bloc (FB) and the RSP shall each have one seat in the Rajay Sabha and FB would give up its second one by asking to resign Dr Mukherjee to pave way for the CPI to put up its candidate,'' Left Front Chairman Biman Basu told reporters after a meeting.

The RSP, another constituent of the Front already has its representation in the Rajya Sabha in Mr Abani Roy.

However, the Front reserved its announcement for the fifth seat that will be vacated, buying more time to be sure of getting support even from the Trinamool Congress and the Congress.

''We have decided to extend support to an independent candidate, who does not belong to any party. The name will be finalised by today or tomorrow,'' Mr Basu said.

In reply to a question, whether Mr Syed Ahmed Malihabadi, the editor of an Urdu daily could be the choice for the fifth seat, Mr Basu said, '' Yes, his name has figured in our discussion. But there are other names as well, and we will have to choose one of them.'' Mr Basu said the Left candidates would file their nomination by March 15, the last date for filing papers.

The scrutiny of nominations will be held on March 17.


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